Fall Coop Prep Made Easy
Hello Fall, Goodbye Summer! Fall not only brings shorter days but cooler weather which is perfect to clean and prep your coop for the new season. Fall cleaning can look very different for everyone as coops come in various sizes as well as the number of chickens in a flock. Certain items in every coop need immediate attention, check out the items to really focus on below.
In the summer heat, it is very easy for the waterers to build up algae and rust form film, known as a biofilm. This causes bacteria to build up in the water as well as affecting the taste. Adding a little bit of vinegar to the water can help prevent algae build-up. Go-to cleaning products for waterers are either a diluted bleach solution or hydrogen peroxide and a scrub brush. A recommended bleach solution is 1 tablespoon for every gallon of water, boiling water is preferred. Hydrogen peroxide can be purchased with a spray nozzle which allows you to spray the solution all over the waterer. Hydrogen peroxide is a great alternative for anyone that does not like the smell or harshness of bleach.
Depending on the style of feeders some may need more attention than others. Whether or not you think they need cleaning, do it anyway. Once again using your hydrogen peroxide or bleach solution will help fight the bad germs.
Bedding is the quickest to build up with feces, feed, etc. It is highly recommended to remove all the bedding. Bedding can be dumped on gardens and raised beds as a source of nitrogen to help enrich the soil. Once the bedding is removed completely, you can spray or scrub the base of the floor with the bleach solution or hydrogen peroxide. Once the base of the floor has completely dried then you can put in fresh pine shavings.
Nesting boxes can also accumulate just as much as the bedding. Whether you have mats, straw, or shavings in the bases of your nesting boxes, they need to be cleaned. The same procedure applies to the boxes as you would do the waterers or floor. Nesting boxes need to be cleaned on a regular basis, not by season. By keeping your nesting boxes cleaned your chickens are healthier and happy as well as you will be collecting eggs that have minimal feces and dirt on them.
While roosting bars are a pain to clean due to their unique design it is crucial to have these sanitized. Chickens spend a great deal of time roosting and bacteria can be spread through these crevasses.
Windows and Lights
With dust and shavings, lights and windows can build up a lot of debris and dirt. Extreme dirt built up on the bulbs and wiring can be a fire hazard. Clorox wipes and Windex are great products to use when cleaning the dirt and grime.
Fall cleaning is a great time to start thinking about winter prep. Now is the time to check to see if your coop needs any updates. If the coop needs new shingles, siding, or holes filled in, fix these now. If you plan on using insulation or similar material in the winter months, take your measurements and purchase the needed material. Screws or nails tend to be overlooked so take a close look as some may need to be hammered or screwed back in. Coops that have a plywood base or something similar may experience rot due to wet bedding or spilled water. Make sure your floor is sturdy and has no damage. In addition to maintenance, you can begin preparing for winter by purchasing any items you may need now; such as heated waterers, straw, etc. We have a fantastic cold weather supplies section to ensure you don’t forget the essentials.
While cleaning your coop and items in your coop it is important to keep yourself safe by wearing proper safety items. Using proper items such as masks, gloves, covered shoes, etc. is crucial. Make sure you are cleaning items in a ventilated area with fresh air and keep the coop doors open while removing bedding.
Have a safe and happy fall cleaning!
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